As religious leaders and scientists gather in the Vatican on Monday, the focus will be on a common stand on the environment and to raise ambitions on what can be achieved at the upcoming Conference of Parties (CoP) in Glasgow. The forthcoming summit is set to be a critical event in the world’s fight to tackle climate change, which has unleashed extreme events across the planet.
The CoP26 summit is being talked about worldwide from the Vatican to the United Nations to Buckingham Palace as the United Kingdom rallies countries to reassert their commitment towards cutting down on emissions and meeting the target goals set under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The Glasgow summit will take place between October 31 and November 12 hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy for countries to mobilise stronger and more ambitious climate action. The Paris Agreement had formally acknowledged the urgent need to scale up the global response to climate change.
VATICAN’S PRE-COP26 CLIMATE EVENT
Monday’s day-long event brings together about 40 faith leaders of the world’s major religions and scientists from about 20 countries. The leaders, including Pope Francis, will sign a joint appeal and hand it to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Britain’s Alok Sharma, president of the UN gathering known as COP26 in Glasgow.
Pope Francis and other religious leaders made a joint appeal on Monday for next month’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to offer concrete solutions to save the planet from “an unprecedented ecological crisis”. “COP26 in Glasgow represents an urgent summons to provide effective responses to the unprecedented ecological crisis and the crisis of values that we are presently experiencing, and in this way to offer concrete hope to future generations,” the pope said.
Pope Francis takes part in the “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” meeting with other religious leaders ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November. (Photo: Reuters)
The meeting, dubbed “Faith and Science: Towards CoP-26,” brings together Christian leaders, including the pope, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Orthodox ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew, as well as representatives of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism.
The appeal urges all governments to adopt plans to help limit the rise in the average global temperature to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. Wealthier countries must take the lead in reducing their own emissions and in financing poorer nations’ emission reductions, it said.
EYES OF THE WORLD ON SCOTLAND says QUEEN
Queen Elizabeth has told Scottish lawmakers that the world’s attention will be focused on Scotland for next month’s climate summit. The statement came when The Queen opened the Scottish parliament on Saturday.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon greets Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as they attend a ceremony opening the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament. (Photo: Reuters)
“The eyes of the world will be on the United Kingdom – and Scotland in particular – as leaders come together to address the challenges of climate change,” Reuters quoted the Queen as saying in her speech. She added that there is a key role for the Scottish Parliament, as with all parliaments, to help create a better, healthier future for us all, and to engage with the people they represent, especially our young people. The British monarch will attend the climate summit.
Meanwhile, US climate envoy John Kerry said Saturday he thinks “enormous progress” can be made at the upcoming UN climate talks but more governments must come up with concrete commitments in the next 30 days. Kerry attended a preparatory meeting in Milan where delegates from around the world sought to identify where progress can be made before the UN climate change starts in Glasgow on October 3
The 12-day summit aims to secure more ambitious commitments to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius to keep it to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The event also is focused on mobilizing financing and protecting vulnerable communities and natural habitats.